His decision to slap a "government-funded media" label on NPR's Twitter account makes no sense.

The Taxman Cometh

It looks like Elon Musk needs to put his — or the taxpayer's — money where his mouth is when it comes to "government-funded" enterprises.

The Twitter owner's controversial decision to slap a "government-funded media" label on NPR's account led to the independent public broadcaster's exit from the social network.

Many saw the move as hypocritical, Gizmodo reports, since several of Musk's ventures, including SpaceX and Tesla rely far more on government funding.

While NPR does receive public grants, they only account for one percent of its revenue, the nonprofit news service claims. Those grants were only one percent of the organization's $309 million revenue last year, though that percentage doesn't include the government grants some of NPR's local affiliates use to pay their licensing fees.

Space Subsidies

Compared to the amount of money Musk's ventures have received from the government over the years, that's chump change.

SpaceX alone got a whopping $2.8 billion in government contracts last year, according to The Information, and has gotten a total of $15.3 billion from the government since 2003.

While Gizmodo notes that Musk insists contract awards are not the same as the sort of subsidies that NPR gets, the news site is arguing that were it not for NASA taking a chance on SpaceX, the company would not exist today.

Along with the money SpaceX has been awarded by the US government, the company requested an $885 million subsidy — about 295 times more than what NPR got last year — for its Starlink satellite broadband service to serve rural communities, but was denied by the Federal Communications Commission. The company has since appealed that decision.

Subsidized Driving

Speaking of subsidies: Tesla has also gotten its own giant share of taxpayer money via grants meant to boost electric vehicle manufacturing, as well as a $465 million preferential loan from the US Department of Energy back in 2010 that Musk, to his credit, did pay off by 2013.

Like countless other companies, Tesla also accepted some untold amount of cash through the Treasury Department's corporate aid during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in July 2020 — and as Insider reported at the time, Musk received them right after tweeting against subsidies.

In short: Tesla and SpaceX are far more "government-funded" than NPR, but you won't see Musk labeling their Twitter accounts as such.

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